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SOCA01 final exam notes - definitions and important concepts

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Sheldon Ungar

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Chapter 4 Ren Spitz (1945, 1962): conducted a study that showed convincing evidence of the importance of socialization in unleashing human potential. o Comparison of children being raised in an orphanage and those who were raised in a prison nursing home o 6 nurses cared for 45 orphans, while nursing home children were taken care by their mothers o Nursing home children tasted a slice of society Social deprivation Without childhood socialization, most of our common potential remains undeveloped "the central growth process in adolescence is to define the self through the clarification of experience and to establish self-esteem" Socialization is the process by which people learn their culture - including norms, values, and roles - and become aware of themselves as they interact with others They do so by: (1) entering and disengaging from a succession of roles and (2) becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others A role is the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society "agents of socialization": families, schools, peer groups, and the mass media o It is during childhood that the contours of the self are first formed Theories of Childhood Socialization FREUD o Social interaction soon enables infants to begin developing a self-image or sense of self - a set of ideas and attitudes about who they are as independent beings o According to Freud, a self-image begins to emerge as soon as the id's demands are denied o The child eventually develops a sense of what constitutes appropriate behaviour and moral sense of right and wrong o Repression involves strong traumatic memories in a part of the self that we are not normally aware of: the unconscious o Insistence that the self emerges during early social interaction and that early childhood experience exerts a lasting impact on personality development The self consists of your ideas and attitudes about who you are The id, according to Freud, is the part of the self, that demands immediate gratification The superego, according to Freud, is a part of the self that acts as a respiratory of cultural standards The ego, according to Freud, is a psychological mechanism that balances the conflicting needs of the pleasure-seeking id and the restraining superego The unconscious, according to Freud, is the part of the self that contains repressed memories we are normally aware of Researchers have called into question many of the specifics of Freud's argument. Three criticisms stand out: 1. The connections between early childhood development and adult personality are more complex than Freud assumed However, sociological research reveals no connection between these aspects of early childhood training and the development of well-adjusted adults 2. Many sociologists criticize Freud for gender bias in his analysis of male and female sexuality Freud argued that psychologically normal women are immature and dependent on men because they envy the male sexual organ 3. Sociologists often criticize Freud for neglecting Freud believed that the human personality is fixed by about the age of five COOLEY o Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley introduced the idea of the "looking glass self" o From these judgements we develop a self-concept or a set of feelings and ideas about who we are. In other words, our feelings about who we are depend largely on ho w we see ourselves evaluated by others o The way others evaluate us helps determine the size of the discrepancy between our self-concept and the person we would like to me The I, according to Mead, is the subjective and impulsive aspect of the self that is present from birth The me, according to Mead, is the objective component of the self that emerges as people communicate symbolically and learn to take the role of the other Significant others are people who play important roles in the early socialization experiences of children The generalized other, according to Mead, is a person's image of cultural standards and how they apply to him or her PIAGET o Jean Piaget divided the development of thinking (or "cognitive") skills during childhood into four stages o The first two years of life, he wrote, children explore the world only through their five senses o The "sensorimotor" stage of cognitive development o Children begin to think symbolically between the ages of two and seven, which he called the "preoperational" stage of cognitive development. Language and imagination blossom during these years o Between the ages of 7 and 11 o Piaget called this the "concrete operational" stage of cognitive development o By about the age of 12, children develop the ability to think more abstractly and critically o This behaviour marks the beginning of what Piaget called the "formal operational" stage of cognitive development VYGOTSKY o For Vygotsky, ways of thinking are determined not so much by innate factors as they are by nature of the social institutions in which individuals grow up o Ancient Chinese philosophies focused on the way in which wholes, not analytical categories, caused processes and events o Ancient Greek society was less socially complex o Markedly different socializations grew up on these different cognitive foundations; ways of thinking depends less on innate characteristics than on the structure of society Primary socialization is the process of acquiring the basic skills needed to function in society during childhood. Primary socialization usually takes place in a family MEAD o Took up and developed the idea of the "looking glass self" o Noted that a subjective and impulsive aspect of the self is present from birth - simply called it the I o Like Freud, Mead argued that a repository of culturally approved standards emerges as a part of the self during social interaction. Mead called this objective, social component of the self ,the me o Mead saw the self as developing in four stages: i. Imitating important people in their lives i. Pretending to be other people by using their imagination i. Simultaneously take the role of several other people i. Teach an individual that other people, employing the cultural standards of their society, usually regard the individual as funny or temperamental or intelligent GILLIGAN o One of the best known examples of how social position affections socialization comes from the research of Carol Gillian o Demonstrated that sociological factors help explain differences in the sense of self that boys and girls usually KOHLBERG o Lawrence Kohlberg showed how children's moral reasoning - their ability to judge right from wrong - also passes through developmental stages o Argued that young children distinguish right from wrong based only on whether something gratifies their immediate needs o "preconventional" stage, what is "right" is simply what satisfies the young child o Right and wrong in terms of whether specific actions please their parents and teachers and are consistent with cultural norms o Some people never advance beyond conventional morality o The capacity to think abstractly and critically about moral principles o "postconventional" stage of moral development Secondary socialization is socialization outside the family after childhood The hidden curriculum in school involves teaching obedience to authority A self-fulfilling prophecy is an expectation that helps bring about what it predicts The Thomas Theorem states "Situations we define as real become real in their consequences A person's peer group comprises people who are about the same age and of similar status as the individual. The peer group acts as an agent of socialization Status refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy Agents of Socialization o The family is the most agent of primary socialization, the process of mastering the basic skills required to function in society during childhood o The family into which we are born also exerts an enduring influence over the course of our entire lives o Child care - and therefore child socializations - became a big social problem in the twentieth century Peer Groups o Peer groups consist of individuals who are not necessarily friends but who are about the same age and of similar status o From middle childhood to adolescence, the peer group is often the dominant socializing agent o Adolescent peer groups are controlled by youth, and through them young people begin to develop their own identities o In contrast, families are controlled by parents o We should not overstate the significance of adolescent-parent conflict o Research shows that families have more influence than peer groups over the educational inspirations and the political, social, and religious preferences of adolescent and university students o Helps integrate young people into the larger society Self-socialization involves choosing socialization influences from the wide variety of mass media offerings A gender role is the set of behaviours associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act Resocialization occurs when powerful socialization agents deliberately cause rap
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